The Daily Demarche
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
US - Europe Cultural Parity
It has been another busy week in the Smiley household, so I don't have a whole lot of time to post. Nonetheless, I've managed to write something short and slightly irreverent. I will be back tomorrow with someting longer and much more serious.

Europe - US Cultural Parity

One of the most tired and cliched critiques of the United States is that it has no culture, or that what culture it has is lowbrow, kitschy and plastic. To any of our gentle readers who may be confronted with this critique, I offer you the following excellent riposte: the Eurovision Song Contest. The contest is sort of like Star Search, except that each country in Europe is allowed one entry, and each country casts votes for performers (they can't vote for the performer from their own country). The resulting trainwreck is broadcast live throughout Europe and Asia.

The show is, to paraphrase Ignatius J. Reilly, a violation of taste and decency (Reilly might also say that it is utterly lacking in theology and geometry, but that is another matter). Readers may be surprised to know that this contest has been going on for something like forty or fifty years. I know I was.

My first reaction to this show was incredulity. My second reaction was one of constructive criticism: the show would have been a whole lot better if the producers incorporated the Sandman into the event. My third reaction was that, rather than harry the awful performers off the stage with a cane, the show would be improved greatly if the Sandman carried something a little more esoteric, like a baseball bat or chainsaw. My final reaction was resignation: the Sandman would need to have the stamina of a marathon runner to chase the 24 pretenders offstage.

Readers who are curious about what this travesty might have looked like have no need to fear. My main man Manolo is on the case. Don't forget to hover your pointer over the images for extra funny commentary from "the Manolo". It just goes to show you that other cultures are capable of producing lowest-common-denominator pablum.

End of post. That's all for today, folks.
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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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